Bandit's Lofrans Airon Windlass

Since buying Bandit, we've had some problems with the windlass. The problem itself has got worse as we've had the boat. The issue was that the 50amp circuit breaker kept popping out when raising and/or dropping the anchor. We suspected a few things...

First, we thought the twin solenoids were faulty. Maybe they were so badly rusted that they were blowing the breaker. Maybe they were overheating or making a bad connection? After looking around, we found that the problem was not the solenoids as they work as they should.

Secondly, I noticed the warping drum on the windlass could not be removed as it should. It should just slide straight off but it's well and truly wedged/corroded onto the windlass. Becuase of this, we guessed that maybe the drum was putting pressure on the motor, causing the breaker to trip. This then seemed unlikely as the motor did not seem under any strain and compared to our friends 290's windlass, it operated exactly the same. We concluded this was not our problem but this other issue needs to be solved as we can not operate the windlass manually as the warping drum won't loosen off the chain gypsy. We either heat the drum and sharply tap it with a hammer or use a puller to remove it. Another job to see to.

Finally, we thought that maybe the breaker was faulty. We spoke to a local mechanic and he said it was anything but this. Fair enough... We left the breaker and put the job to the side until we had time to strip the windlass, motor and gearbox to pieces to look deeper. Today while sat at the boat, I wrestled with the breaker and it would not pop back in. I removed the two cables from the rear of the breaker and it still did the same. It was breaking the circuit even without anything attached to it. There was clearly something not right. Sadly, we weren't able to find a 50amp push-to-reset breaker so I whacked a large fuse holder and 50amp fuse to it temporarily to bypass the dodgy breaker. I spun the boat around so we could test the windlass and surprisingly, it works perfectly with no problems. It was the breaker all along! A fuse isn't really ideal so we'll scan the internet to find a new 50amp breaker. The last thing you want to be doing is fiddling around, replacing fuses when you need to be acting fast.
Faulty 50amp windlass circuit breaker

Glad that's nearly sorted.


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